Why Is Storytelling Important?

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Storytelling brought early mankind together both physically and mentally by emphasizing common virtues, consolidating a community and reducing intragroup conflict, highlighting storytelling's role in the evolutionary development of humans. Neuroscientists believe that telling stories increased the neurocognitive abilities of humans, because stories were fun but required mental exertion. Fictional storytelling provided a largely safe environment to experiment with handling the consequences of precarious situations, including emotional ones, thus increasing survivability.

A story can be told using any of the human body's senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste and texture. For instance, culinary storytelling primarily focuses on the food. Each dish is usually presented in an order designed to evoke certain scenes as the narrative, often personal or cultural, progresses. This type of story involves the use of every human sense. A chef or other artist may offer an auditory accompaniment to a dish to emphasize importance. Even the plates the food is served on and the decor of the setting factor into telling these narratives. Retelling such a story through speech, film or writing could never accurately relate those sensations.

Storytelling isn't a collection of facts, but a narrative with perspective and emotion. Storytelling has been shown to aid in the alleviation of symptoms caused by traumatic events.